Health care professionals often face moral dilemmas. Not dealing constructively with moral dilemmas can cause moral distress and can negatively affect the quality of care. Little research has been documented with methodologies meant to support professionals in care for the homeless in dealing with their dilemmas. Moral case deliberation is a method for systematic reflection on moral dilemmas and is increasingly being used as ethics support for professionals in various health-care domains. This study deals with the question: What is the (...) contribution of MCD in helping professionals in an institution for care for the homeless to deal with their moral dilemmas? A mixed-methods responsive evaluation design was used to answer the research question. Five teams of professionals from a Dutch care institution for the homeless participated in MCD three times. Professionals in care for the homeless value MCD positively. They report that MCD helped them to identify the moral dilemma/question, and that they learned from other people’s perspectives while reflecting and deliberating on the values at stake in the dilemma or moral question. They became aware of the moral dimension of moral dilemmas, of related norms and values, of other perspectives, and learned to formulate a moral standpoint. Some experienced the influence of MCD in the way they dealt with moral dilemmas in daily practice. Half of the professionals expect MCD will influence the way they deal with moral dilemmas in the future. Most of them were in favour of further implementation of MCD in their organization. (shrink)
We discuss five kinds of representations of rationales and provide a formal account of how they can alter disputation. The formal model of disputation is derived from recent work in argument. The five kinds of rationales are compilation rationales, which can be represented without assuming domain-knowledge (such as utilities) beyond that normally required for argument. The principal thesis is that such rationales can be analyzed in a framework of argument not too different from what AI already has. The result is (...) a formal understanding of rationales, a partial taxonomy, and a foundation for computer programs that represent and reason with rationales.The five kinds of rationales are as follows: (c)ompression and (s)pecialization, which yield rules, and (d)isputation, which yields a decision. These are modeled as potentially changing the focus of the dispute. Then there are (f)it, a rationale for rules, and (r)esolution, a rationale for decisions. These cannot be modeled as simply; they force disputation to a meta-level, at least temporarily. (shrink)
Error is protean, ubiquitous and crucial in scientific process. In this paper it is argued that understanding scientific process requires what is currently absent: an adaptable, context-sensitive functional role for error in science that naturally harnesses error identification and avoidance to positive, success-driven, science. This paper develops a new account of scientific process of this sort, error and success driving Self-Directed Anticipative Learning (SDAL) cycling, using a recent re-analysis of ape-language research as test example. The example shows the limitations of (...) other accounts of error, in particular Mayo’s (Error and the growth of experimental knowledge, 1996) error-statistical approach, and SDAL cycling shows how they can be fruitfully contextualised. (shrink)
Understanding of organizational ethics phenomena requires complex understanding of organizational practices in their real world contexts. We can try to understand and build theory about these complex real world practices from the points of view of: a traditional deductive, ethics literature-based, literature gap formulation approach; or, an inductive, practitioner-based literature gap formulation approach. This consideration of inductive, practitioner-based versus deductive, literature-based literature gap formulation is related to the discussion concerning “engaged scholarship” and relationships and gaps between theory and practice in (...) organization studies [Van De Ven, 2007, Engaged Scholarship: A Guide for Organizational and Research Knowledge ]. However, there is an important difference with respect to the key issue of ethics literature versus practitioner-based literature gap formulation. This article offers examples of the two different approaches and makes comparisons between them. Implications for practice-based organizational ethics theory building, Ph.D. education, and public intellectual work are considered. (shrink)
To whom do sperm and ova belong? Few tissues are produced by the human body with more waste than the germ cells. Yet dominion over the germ cells, and over the early embryo that results from their union in vitro, is behind much of the emotion that modern reproductive intervention can engender. The germ cells differ from other human tissues that can be donated or transplanted because they carry readily utilizable genetic information. Eventual expression of the germ cells' genetic potential (...) is the legitimate concern and responsibility of their donors, although in the right circumstances the responsibility can by agreement be entrusted to institutions administering gamete or embryo donor programmes; these institutions, in turn, may need to assume responsibility for decisions if, in the case of embryo storage, the wishes of the two donors conflict. The fact of sperm and ovum ownership (and the genetic potential that goes with it) before individuals part with these tissues is beyond dispute. Some contentious issues may be clarified if this area of human dominion, namely control over genetic expression among offspring, is acknowledged to be the legitimate persisting concern of those who have produced sperm and ova after storage commences. (shrink)
It is proposed that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder and be included in future editions of the major diagnostic manuals under the new name: major affective disorder, pleasant type. In a review of the relevant literature it is shown that happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. One possible objection to this proposal remains--that happiness is (...) not negatively valued. However, this objection is dismissed as scientifically irrelevant. (shrink)
Interactive technology assessment (iTA) provides an answer to the ethical problem of normative bias in evaluation research. This normative bias develops when relevant perspectives on the evaluand (the thing being evaluated) are neglected. In iTA this bias is overcome by incorporating different perspectives into the assessment. As a consequence, justification of decisions based on the assessment is provided by stakeholders having achieved agreement. In this article, agreement is identified with wide reflective equilibrium to show that it indeed has the potential (...) of justifying decisions. We work out several conditions for this agreement to be achievable and just. (shrink)
What we perceive is the product of an intrinsic process and not part of external physical reality. This notion is consistent with the philosophical position of transcendental idealism but also agrees with physiological findings on the thalamocortical system. -Frequency rhythms of discharge activity from thalamic and cortical neurons are facilitated by cholinergic arousal and resonate in thalamocortical networks, thereby transiently forming assemblies of coherent oscillations under constraints of sensory input and prefrontal attentional mechanisms. Perception and conscious experience may be based (...) on such assemblies and sensory input to thalamic nuclei plays merely a constraining role in their formation. In schizophrenia, the ability of sensory input to modulate self-organisation of thalamocortical activity may be generally reduced. If during arousal thalamocortical self-organisation is underconstrained by sensory input, then attentional mechanisms alone may determine the content of perception and hallucinations may arise. (shrink)
In this paper I challenge the traditional reading of Daoism as naturalism and the interpretation of wu wei as “acting naturally.” I argue that such an interpretation is problematic and unhelpful to the would-be Daoist environmental ethicist. I then lay the groundwork for a philosophically viable environmental ethic by elucidating the pragmatic aspects of Daoist thought. While Daoism so interpreted is no panacea for all of our environmental ills, it does provide a methodology that may prove effective in alleviating some (...) of our discomfort. (shrink)
This essay gives a brief overview of Transhumanism and explores a few of its central ideas in the light of Polanyi’s views about embodiment, Marxism, and reality’s hierarchal order, concluding that although Polanyi would likely appreciate the possibilities of cyborgic augmentation that feature in the Transhumanist route to the posthuman, he would utterly repudiate its metaphysics of disembodied intelligence and its underlying technological determinism.
An accelerated introductory text in symbolic logic, this work is a translation and revision of Carnap's 1954 Einführung.... The latter portion of the book is devoted to semantics and to axiom systems in areas as diverse as geometry and biology.--R. P.